by Chris Davis
previewed on X360
Codename: 47 (cntd)
Patrolling guards roam amidst the bookcases, boxes, and desks that litter the area with their weapons drawn and a flashlight flickers in the direction of even the slightest hint of sound or movement. It is immediately clear that the game’s AI has received a massive overhaul over its previous incarnations, something that was much needed if IO wants to stay competitive in a genre that is becoming increasingly more populated. The guards are clearly nervous as the lightning flashes and thunder roars through the dead lobby of the library and one wrong move could spell the premature end of 47.
As he wanders past a set of shelves 47 stops dead in his tracks. A flashlight is pointing towards where 47 was heading and the cone of light is becoming smaller by the second: a guard is approaching on the other side of the bookcase and 47 is sure to be spotted if he stays put. Backing up a bit, our demonstrator activates a new aspect of 47’s arsenal: Instinct, something that the world’s greatest assassin has honed over years of hunting targets.
Instinct is a game-changing aspect for the Hitman series as it serves as both a visual and aural aid to the player. Activating Instinct in this particular instance allows 47 to see the patrolling cop through the bookcase as well as a red line on the ground indicating his intended path of movement. Instinct can also be used to indicate interactive objects in the environment. It is clear that Instinct is a great tool to the player but it also seems prone to abuse.
As the guard slowly passes by 47, he reaches up and grabs the guard from behind before squeezing the life out of him. Dropping the lifeless body to the floor, 47 presses on, moving toward the centre of the room where a larger concentration of guards can be found. Hiding behind a desk the player finds a piece of extension cord and has it added to his inventory. Sneaking up behind another guard 47 quickly chokes the guard using the cord, thankfully yielding a quiet death.
The lights in the room suddenly switch on. Much to the insistence of the lieutenant in charge, a couple of cops have found the fusebox and have restored power to the building. The additional lighting will make escape far more difficult so the player moves toward the box, staying in the shadows. As the two cops go around the corner, 47 approaches the fusebox, rigs it, and turns out the lights. As the lights go out, panic sweeps through the already spooked cops and one rushes back to fix it. When the guard tries to fix the panel it electrocutes him, both killing him and ensuring that the lights will not come on again.
Crossing the room, 47 nears another guard. This one stands next to a portion of the floor that has collapsed. Taking the opportunity, 47 pushes the guard to his death. Hearing the noise, another guard, this one on the balcony above, comes to investigate. Moving quickly, 47 grabs the edge of the balcony and, just as the guard arrives, grabs him by the belt and pulls him over the banister causing him to meet the same end as his fallen counterpart. 47 pulls himself up and continues on narrowly avoiding another patrolling guard.